4 Tips to Negotiate a Better Salary Package in 2018

If you’re heading into 2018 feeling empowered, positive and valued, it may be time to push for that pay rise. In any place of work, it’s a natural progression to have your salary increase over time. Generally, a pay review is scheduled on a yearly basis for most workplaces. But for those starting a new job in 2018, negotiating a better pay package can be just as important too.

Whether you’re proving you’re more than qualified for the job in the interview process or you’re racking up years at your current place of work, asking for a higher wage can be nerve-racking. There’s a fine line between alienating the opportunity and getting what you deserve too, so it pays to be armed with tips and research beforehand to get it right. Unfortunately, many of us can feel uncomfortable with the idea of negotiating. But pushing for what you deserve (and have worked hard for) is vital. Here are few tips to get your negotiating skills ready for the New Year:

1. Don’t Just Talk Cash

Extra cash is fantastic, but perks – the right perks – can be just as good too, if not better. If you’re creative enough, you can negotiate other aspects of the job, which buys you negotiating power if your boss says ‘no’ to a pay rise. It also shows you’re not just about the money, a flexible solution which can be extremely valuable. Asking for perks can ultimately benefit both parties. And they offer a way to boost your value as an employee, whilst still rounding out your ‘salary’ in the meantime.

Other forms of remuneration, besides a pay rise, can include:

  • Novated Leasing: A novated lease is a vehicle finance solution that can save you thousands. It gives you access to a new car (which can be used for business and personal use), without the nasty costs. Because you’re making car payments out of your pre-tax salary, you effectively get more money in your pocket. These payments also include other vehicle necessities like insurance, rego, tyres and servicing.
  • Flexible Work Schedules: Do you work more productively from home or on a different work schedule? Work/life balance has become just as important to staff as the paycheck. Flexible or compressed work schedules mean you can cater for both, without jeopardising the amount of work that gets done. Negotiate working from home a few days a month or taking half-days on Fridays.
  • Better Office Location: Everyone works effectively in different ways. You may be able to upgrade from a cubical to a room away from the noise to work more productively, have a desk with a window or attain a quieter corner to help you feel more motivated in your job.
  • Salary Package Your Super: You can salary package almost anything, from cars to services and your super. Like with a novated lease, salary packaging your super will reduce your taxable income, put more money in your pocket and contribute to a better super package. You can find out if your eligible and what can be salary packaged online.
  • Performance-Based Bonuses: If your place of work has limited resources and/or offering a low pay figure, ask for performance-based bonuses instead.

2. Educate Yourself on Salary Information

The three most important things when negotiating salary is confidence, timing and research. Before you start putting figures on the table, educate yourself with salary information. What are other companies paying for your skill set and experience? How does this match up with the job you’re working at or applying for? See how you compare on the typical range and use this as a benchmark for negotiating room – just make sure you’re being reasonable too.

With these figures in mind, work out your target strategy and the minimum you’re willing to accept. Defining a  BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) before you begin negotiating is important too.

3. Use Precise Figures

Instead of throwing out the usual figures, like $80,000 or $100,000, use precise figures. By simply replacing a few of the zeros, you come across more powerful in your negotiating approach. Replace $80,000 with $83,500 or $100,000 with $104,500. It shows you have done your research in order to get that number and exhibits a level of confidence vital to the negotiating process.

4. Know Your Worth to the Company

Define your strengths and weaknesses before you step foot in the office, so you know exactly what makes YOU a valuable employee. Self-doubt is a big killer in any business or workplace. If you’re going into the boss’ office to negotiate a pay rise, own your success! If you didn’t believe you deserved it, you wouldn’t be pushing for it in the first place, so make sure you go after what you want (and what you deserve).

If you’re starting a new job and have the right skill set and experience to push for a better salary, go for it. According to Google Partner’s Lead Womenwill course, 7% of women negotiate their salary when they start their first job, compared to 69% of men. But anyone can learn the skills of negotiating through research, practice and knowing your worth to the company. So don’t be afraid to invest in a little negotiating power!

Not everyone is a natural negotiator and that’s ok. By thinking of the negotiation as a competition, practising what you’re going to say beforehand and exuding confidence, you can get a more attractive salary package through cash-saving perks and pay rises.

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